Roland Garros: Who's saying what

Paris (AFP) –


Who's saying what at Roland Garros on Saturday, the day before the start of the claycourt Grand Slam tournament delayed by four months due to the coronavirus pandemic:

"I could have guaranteed and pretty much bet my life that I would not have been playing at 39."

-- Serena Williams, a three-time champion, celebrates her birthday. She is appearing at Roland Garros for the 18th time having made her tournament debut in 1998.

"39 years young today and still on the courts! Who would've thought? On tour since you are 14 years old, you are still willing to improve everyday in your tennis. Passion, ambition, determination at their highest level, this is you @serenawilliams Happy Birthday."

-- Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou on Twitter

"I will make sure I don't make the same mistake twice."

-- Novak Djokovic promising to be on his best behaviour after his US Open disqualification.

"I hate the cold. I'm from L.A. and I live in Florida. For half my life I've never seen snow. Cold weather and me do not mix. That's my Achilles heel. But I'm dealing with it."

-- Serena Williams on the cold and windy conditions in the French capital.

"I love that guy. He's a really good friend of mine. The guy is such a champion. Has such a champion's mindset."

-- Williams on Lewis Hamilton, the Formula One world champion chasing Michael Schumacher's record of 91 Grand Prix wins in Sochi this weekend.

"In terms of the British media, we're kind of stuck with each other, so it is what it is."

-- Britain's Johanna Konta, a Roland Garros semi-finalist in 2019, on her rollercoaster relationship with the press.

"Clay is the ultimate test of mind and body, and needs the proper juxtaposition between ball and surface in order that all skills are put to the test ... so if the ball at Roland Garros is too heavy, as it appears to be, they just compromised the tournament."

-- Australian Open tournament director and former Grand Slam doubles winner Paul McNamee on the controversial new balls being used in Paris. Rafael Nadal has said they are too heavy and potentially dangerous to a player's well-being.